Sunday, 27 March 2016

Beating the bunnyfest blues

The UK is in a fairly unique position in that it sits at the meeting point of five major air masses.
It's these air masses that have a constant battle to decide what the prevailing conditions will be, and as a result we have the ingrained ability to bitch about the weather.
Unlike many countries which have a climate, we have weather which is at best a way of keeping things interesting (running the gauntlet of will it or won't it rain, well let's keep our fingers crossed and go for it), and at worst is an unpredictable bastard that's guaranteed to ruin the barbecue you were silly enough to have planned two weeks in advance.
It's obviously unpredictable because even those very clever people who study the weather with advanced instruments and computer prediction usually end up getting it wrong.
Since the legendary 'Michael Fish Incident' the Met Office has taken to always erring on the side of caution, issuing weather warnings whenever there's the slightest possibility of a stiff breeze or a bout of sustained drizzle.
As a result we treat these warnings with indifference, so when the weather really does go bat-shit crazy we're completely unprepared.

The only time the weather can be relied upon to be predictable is on a bank holiday, when you know with absolute certainty that it will lay down a barrage of everything nasty in its arsenal to ensure that the only entertainment you can seek is that which takes place indoors - probably involving a nice warm jumper.
Sometimes, however, you have to say "What the hell" and just get out there, which is exactly what we did this morning.
The forecast was full of biblical plagues in contrast with the view out of the window which was breezy but sunny, so it was a hard one to call, but having spent the last couple of days mostly vegetating at home, we desperately needed a change.
Knowing that most places would be shut due to it being Easter Sunday, we took ourselves off to Wandlebury woods, just south of Cambridge for a good walk and a much needed dose of fresh air.

Even approaching Cambridge, we could see the clouds rolling in from the direction we were headed, and a sense of impending doom began to descend.
The car park was surprisingly crowded, so we knew we weren't the only ones daft or desperate enough to venture out, but unsurprisingly it wasn't long before the heavens opened up and the rain came down with a vengeance.
Naturally I'd forgotten to bring a hat, but I doubt that even if I had, it wouldn't have been much good.
As most of the trees are still in winter mode and lacking any sort of foliage, shelter was in short supply so our only chance to escape the worst was to lean against a particularly large tree trunk.
By the time the rain passed over we looked like a couple of drowned rats, and then to add insult to injury the sun came out again like nothing had happened.

Despite getting soaked, it was still nice to be there. With the wind blowing in the trees, the sound of the rain beating against the sodden ground, and the absence of any traffic noise, it was absolute bliss compared to when we were battling the crowds around London the other week.
We may grumble about the weather - indeed I sometimes think it must be our national passtime - but it does at least add a bit of variety to life, and with the right attitude even the standard bank holiday blues can be beaten into submission. You just have to accept that getting wet is going to be part of your day.

 Wet at Wandlebury woods. Mad dogs and Englishmen etc....